November 7, 2009
Though I had managed to survive the Maasai homestay, a final night of little sleep due to continued discomfort from the finally un-slinged arm, meant that I was out of fuel entirely and I woke up feeling super sick. I managed to pack my own things and help Rachel pull down our tent, but other than that I spent the rest of the packing time stretched out half asleep on three or four of the seats in the bus. I felt bad that I wasn’t helping, but I literally did not have the energy to take any more steps than necessary and had a fever which meant I went from feeling like I was attempting to nap during an Antarctic winter storm to feeling like I’d been abandoned in the middle of the Sahara desert without an oasis in sight! I also had a killer headache, which made talking and listening to others talk a terrible irritant.
Lucy stopped by to say good bye to me, which I thought was really nice. We wished one another luck in and success with out studies and to ultimately end up in a very nice job. She was so happy when I told her she’d really been a fabulous help during my Maasai stay and I really do hope that all of the doors that need to open for her to be able to attend University next year swing open without hesitation. Tanzania (well every country, really) needs more Lucys, hardworking young people who are willing to work hard for what they believe in, not by creating a rebellion, but by a starting a slow and steady grassroots revolution that can have lasting changes in their communities. Lucy wants to become a law student in order to learn more about property law so she can help her people retain their rights to the land – there is no doubt that if given the chance to succeed she will, so as I’ve said before, I wish her only the best!
We all piled into the trucks and headed for Lake Natron. I was feeling very sick for the whole ride and laid down in the back seat and dozed on and off despite the terrible roads. When we stopped for lunch, I didn’t even get out of the truck, just because it didn’t seem worth it to move for anything. Simon, once again proving that he is the nicest guy ever, offered me a Coke which I thought meant that they were out for lunch for everybody, but which really meant he lifted half a dozen bags out of the truck in order to get one out of the crate in the hopes that it would make me feel better.
Eventually we arrived at the camp site. All of the other students hiked to go swimming at a waterfall too. I almost did too, not wanting to miss a thing, despite the fact that walking the literally ten feet from the truck to my tent made me incredibly dizzy, but Mwalimu Ken convinced me with a well timed parable about a Kenyan friend that it is ok to take it easy every now and then so I decided to stay behind.
I ended up laying my sleeping pad and bag out on the grass and watching the birds in the trees above me (mostly different types of kingfishers – I was too out of it to go find a book and identify them all), which was just as good (well, better, really) than watching TV at home while sick. I also read the book “The Life of Pi”, though I had to move that activity into my tent once it began to rain a little bit. I LOVED the book and would highly recommend it to anyone. It is about a boy who gets shipwrecked and lost at sea with only Bengal tiger for company on his lifeboat, a crazy, but compelling set of circumstances. Anyone else read this one yet?